Norton Ghost – Cannot Reboot to Windows

Saturday, May 29th, 2004 at 2324

Today I had a fiddle with Norton Ghost.
It went horribly wrong.
I have a SATA HDD and an ASUS P4P800 motherboard, and oh boy once it got into DOS did things go haywire. Norton suggest using the switch -NOIDE if you’re using only a SATA drive, which lets GHOST run, but won’t let the program that reboots your PC run.

So what happened?

Ghost creates a “Virtual partition” and makes it the boot partition. It puts some files in here. If you are unable to reboot using GHREBOOT as I was, you are left in a mess. Rebooting only causes the PC to repeatedly boot off the virtual partition back to DOS, with no apparent way of gettng back to Windows.

After a lot of research on another PC, a lot of frantic questions to friends and some wall thumping, I used FDisk to reset the active partition to what I thought was the right NTFS volume (FDisk is a bit funny with NTFS volumes…) and once it (successfully) booted back into Windows, used drive management to delete the weirdass virtual partition and the 2.8g of unallocated space it seemed to have created.

I then uninstalled Ghost.


6 Comment for “Norton Ghost – Cannot Reboot to Windows”

  1. lor3 Said this on

    I’ve had experiences with ghost, and found it better to boot from the floppy with needed drivers rather than doing the virtual partition thing. In the end it never worked anyway and my laptop just overheated constantly, but that’s another story.

    In the end i booted from a knoppix cd and created an image of the partition using dd, copied it to network and restored the same way on the 2nd pc. It worked and i felt l33t doing it.

  2. Andrew Said this on

    Someone actually made a boot floppy when it asked them to? woah! I usually find fdisk /mbr saves me ass more often than not.

  3. Martin Said this on

    Thanks a lot for this tip, I woke up this morning and found that the Ghost Reboot function failed. Without this tip it probably would have taken me a lot of effort to figure out how to solve it. My biggest problems were to find this message on the internet and a verzion of FDISK. Thnx a lot.

  4. Me Said this on


    It worked. It was simple, but I wasn’t clever enough to think myself about it :-(. Really thanks mate!

  5. Said this on

    THaNKS!!!!!!!!!!!! It worked like a charm!!!

  6. Leo Said this on

    WOw! it works so great
    Thanks a lot

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